Today’s letters focus on the EU and Brexit. The first is by our contributor Torquil Dick-Erikson, addressing the EU’s proposal of creating a unified EU Military (PESCO), with the UK still poised to sign up to it, Brexit or not – a decision must be made today:
I think that most British people in general, and our politicos, and even UKIPpers, are underestimating the dangers of EU military integration. We in Britain have been lulled into a false sense of security by 350 years of peaceful constitutional evolution. We think that power in a country depends on winning elections, getting voters’ support, gaining airtime and column inches. We have forgotten that at the end of the day, “power springs from the barrel of a gun”, to quote a proven expert in these matters, whose name was Mao Tsetung.
Our EU partners are only too aware of this basic reality, since, unlike the UK, nearly all of them have experienced violent changes in government within living memory. Indeed most of those in the West only enjoy democracy today because the Anglo-American armies conquered their dictatorial governments in 1945. And those in the East because the Soviet Communist leader Gorbachev admitted they could not match the US “star wars” weapons programme, and threw in the sponge.
It was the Portuguese army that overthrew the Portuguese dictatorship in 1974 and then allowed democracy to be installed. And Spanish democracy after Franco was only saved in 1980 from a military dictatorship led by Colonel Tejero, when he invaded the Spanish Parliament chamber, by the then King of Spain who telephoned the heads of the army groups in the different provinces and told them to stay where they were.
British people, when informed of the plan to unify the UK’s military with those of the EU, fear mostly that an EU army, including British soldiers, will be used to fight wars in far-off lands that the British government would not be fighting if it could decide for itself. Of course this would be a real possibility.
But actually the danger is far worse. What we in Britain are unable to visualise is the possibility that once an EU army is established, with contingents from member states all together under the command of Brussels, then British contingents will be sent to man an Eastern frontier, say with the Ukraine; whereas Rumanian and Bulgarian contingents and tank divisions, commanded by Brussels, will be stationed in Aldershot and elsewhere.
At that point Brussels will be able to snuff out any aspiration to independence by the British people with ease. ECJ court orders will be enforced, at gunpoint.
One of the callers to Nigel’s radio show on Thursday (9th Nov) mentioned the possibility of an EU army being used to stop Brexit. Nigel sounded startled and even said “Goodness, you sound more Eurosceptic than me!”. It sounds outlandish to British ears. We have not had hostile foreign troops on our soil for 1000 years.
It does not sound so outlandish to continental ears. In particular the Hungarians had their bid for independence snuffed out in 1956; the Czechs had the same in 1968. And the Catalan bid for independence will fail, inevitably, for one simple reason – Spain has an army. Catalonia does not.
If Mrs May agrees to signing us up to an EU army tomorrow, we risk ending up like Catalonia.
And even if we decide not to join up in the EU army, but to sign up to defence procurement integration – maybe on the usual specious argument of saving money – our own armed forces will be in a state of total dependency for its armaments, on the goodwill of a consortium of states who have said they want to punish us for wanting to leave their union.
Respectfully, Torquil Dick-Erikson
PESCO has been kept well under the radar in our MSM. Read what Henry Bolton had to say on it here.
The next letter comes from our correspondent Septimus Octavius who takes issue with the ongoing negotiations on Brexit:
Well, here we are again, with another morning’s news dominated by half-truths and errors spouted by the supposed experts on the merry topic of Brexit.
Before considering the details, as usual it will be helpful to review what Article 50 actually says and does. In effect, the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU as the clock chimes midnight in Brussels at the end of 28 March 2019; BUT ONLY IF THERE IS NO PRIOR AGREEMENT.
If there is a prior agreement, duly ratified by the European Parliament, it is of course likely only to occur shortly before that deadline, as the EU is desperate to keep the UK paying it the net sum of £161 million every week.
So, enter stage right the Prime Minister, who has announced that she wants to enact a UK law that the UK leaves the EU on the said deadline. Such a law would in effect prejudge the outcome of the talks by absolutely confirming that there will be no deal; fine by me, but not, I think, what she intends.
From the opposing corner comes Lord Kerr, the civil servant who in 2009 actually drafted Article 50! He did make one correct point, namely that Article 50 does allow for extension of the two year period, but what he failed to emphasise is that such an extension would have to be AGREED BEFORE THE DEADLINE. In the present context, there is no chance of that happening whatsoever. He was also correct when he said that nothing the UK Parliament could do would affect the effect of the Treaties, but he then went on to say that the significance of that was that Article 50 could be called off! That is not true; in its express terms an Article 50 Notification is unstoppable and irreversible. Nevertheless, he did say that if the UK said they did want to withdraw it, the EU would snatch its hands off to accept, [regardless of the Treaty]; surprise, surprise!
Meanwhile, in other news, Northern Ireland has unsurprisingly come up with complex proposals for preserving the Border. Everyone knows that there can be no change to the way that Border works now, and of course this is the key to resolving the whole trade deal. Eire is well and truly stuck with all the imprisoning rules of the EU, and is ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN from having any trade deal with outside world that is not the same as for the whole EU; QED! It therefore follows as night follows day, that the extant trade arrangements between the EU and the UK must stay unchanged post Brexit. Sorted!
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius